Reflexology for athletes
Over the years I have worked with many athletes and sportspeople with great results. Whether it’s helping them to recover from injury, treating them pre-race or pre-match to help optimize their performance, or after the event to ease aching muscles and aid recovery, they all recognise the benefits reflexology can bring.
Reflexology is still not widely used in the sporting world. However in many ways it is the perfect therapy.
There are very few contra-indications, treatments can be quick and administered at almost any time. Also as it does not involve direct stimulation, it is very unlikely to aggravate any existing condition and works well alongside more conventional approaches such as allopathic medicine, physiotherapy and massage.
It is also unique in that, not only is it fantastic for the feet, it has a profound effect on the rest of the body too.
"I came to Rupert two years ago with the problem of getting chronic foot cramp when dancing on stage but after weekly sessions I can now dance pain free and achieve hugely better performances both mentally and physically" - Francesca Hayward - Principal Dancer Royal Ballet
Closing the Gap
The very nature of sport means that being able to squeeze that extra one or two per cent out of your body, can be the difference between 1st and 4th place, or being in the first team rather than just part of the squad. As a result, people are constantly searching for new approaches, diets or therapies to gain that extra advantage and edge over their rivals.
Reflexology is one therapy that can provide that edge.
Despite the integral role feet play, surprisingly little attention is paid to them. Even if you discount the reflexological effect, it's amazing the effects a gentle mobilization of the feet and a working out of the knots in the muscles, tendons and ligaments in them, can have on the body as a whole. However, when you take into account the reflexological aspects as well, the benefits are huge.
As well as working on a physical level, reflexology also helps with mental and emotional well-being. On a mental level, reflexology helps achieve that balance between anxiety and desire. Too much or too little of either can negatively affect performance (we’ve all experienced that feeling of playing within ourselves or with too much aggression/confidence). Many of my clients say that a reflexology treatment sends them into a state similar to that of meditation, giving them just the right amount of focus for a big event.
"I was originally gifted a session of reflexology with Rupert for my birthday because of some ongoing foot pain. I had had these issues with my Achilles all through my basketball career and at times after training, I would struggle to walk. After seeing Rupert twice, I can honestly say that I haven't had any inflammation or pain in my achilles since. I still wake up most mornings after training and expect there to be in pain, or to struggle to walk, but it never happens. To be able to feel your feet again is a pleasure I didn't know I missed until Rupert sorted me out!" - Jamie Oliver
Key Benefits of Reflexology for Athletes
a) Releases muscle tension throughout the body
b) Promotes healing of injuries, reduces inflammation and provides drug-free pain relief
c) Helps identify possible weaknesses/restrictions in the body before they manifest in an injury
d) Speeds up recovery post-performance
e) Can help increase range of movement in the body
a) Relieves stress and tension
b) Relaxes the body and mind and improves focus
c) Gives one a sense of wellbeing and alleviates fatigue
d) Helps improve sleep the night before a performance
e) Helps manage subconscious fears pre-performance which can impact on body’s performance
a) Improves heart, lung and organ function
b) Improves immune function reducing risk of illness
c) Improves digestion and absorption of nutrients
Reflexology in Practice
Reflexology is very easy to work into your existing maintenance schedule or pre-match routine. Many clients choose to have a session just before a big event to calm nerves, reduce anxiety and tension and loosen tight muscles, or the night before to aid a restful night’s sleep.
After training reflexology helps minimise soreness and aid recovery. If you suffer from an injury, reflexology aids healing and is a natural, drug-free pain reliever that won’t have any adverse effects on your body. It can be undertaken as frequently as you like.
If this is an area you’d like to learn more about or are wondering whether I can help you, please get in touch.